President’s Blog

Congratulations Captain Pete Bethum

It is finally spring with a whole new array of issues, but the scent of renewal is in the air.

Many activists from my past have re-appeared to support my new (www.gaianetwork.net ) project with my good friends Dr. Myra, and Peter Wallerstein jumping on board. Just by chance, two days ago I had coffee with Pete Bethume. Pete is in LA to do a speech for the 5 Gyres folks, and I suggest you look it up and go if you are in LA.

I was involved in the whole “Pete vs. SSCS” drama from when I first cut the promo to “sell” Pete’s earthrace boat to Ady Gil…. If interested, you can look up the whole drama online I am sure. At the time I found it a waste of time and money…

Before the coffee, I had never met the man, although I have publically clashed with him on tactics… I like to say that I enjoyed the live conversations immensely, and this just goes to show you how putting a “face” to a reputation so changes things… like truth.

He is a man who actually does stuff. Like him, or hate him, he is enacting change. Good for him, and his no compromise stance. Check out his website: https://www.youtube.com/user/petebethune

Our meeting, and one I had shortly thereafter actually invigorated me. Later at the end of the day, on my drive home through the area recently burned by the Thomas fire, I had an epiphany. I realized that my recent brush with corporate politics had worn me out. I was ready to give up, but… Not anymore! I realized that as the new plant growth was pushing through the blacked earth, I, too, will come back. My philosophy is that I came from the earth and go back there, so we are one. The earth all around me was springing back to life and so could I. Maybe Captain Pete needs crew?

Believe it or not, my recent political and legal education is actually giving me new hope in our legal system. Imagine that? Although I had fully expected no fairness, and no justice, I felt the majority of individuals I dealt with were qualified and caring individuals. The devil is always in the details, and we will see. But… Hell if this spring brings me hope and renewed faith in lawyers, and activism… a win, win! After having my reputation disparaged in legal documents and elsewhere, I have to admit that I enjoyed the experience and opportunity to defend myself. Like every life experience, I learned so much, and certainly paid for the education.

It should be a lesson learned by all: putting a face and personality to a ominous term like: terrorist, and other accusations always helps. I always remember that Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Thomas Jefferson were also condemned by governments and corporations in their day. The Dal Lama today. Say what you will, I’ll let my ancestors judge my reputation.

As spring turns to summer, may I suggest that we all go forward and continue the fight for “right”. Do not worry how much money and fame you make, but how your actions will leave the earth for future generations. It is the eco-movement, not the ego-movement after all. It’s about the earth, stupid!!!

An Ode to Greatness

Doug and Kris Tompkins set out years ago to leave the earth better than they found it. Today Kris carries on the legacy to do exactly what the loving couple set out to do.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/chile-new-national-parks-10-million-acres-environment/

https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2018/02/14/patagonia-park.cnn/video/playlists/intl-latest-world-videos/ 

A 10-million-acre National Park in Chile made possible through co-operation. What a concept!

CONGRATULATIONS!

If there is a heaven… and I’m one of those: you come from the earth, you go back to the earth, kind of guys… but, if heaven exists, Doug is smiling down.  My late friend and shipmate accomplished something with his wife that few others have ever achieved.  Humans should take notice! Here is your proof!

The earth is a better place today for the Tompkin’s great work.

I have lately pontificated about what I consider shady spending in the eco-movement, and how people should really think about where they want their money spent. With 360 billion dollars out there, how about spending it on making a difference?

Maybe the testosterone infused eco-movement of old can learn a lesson from two great women finally making a deal. It is time for a different perspective on how to run the world. If this is any indication, I’m all in, and pray my grand daughters will continue this proud legacy.

Now, anyone who knows me knows I am not one to tell someone else what to do with their money, yet in this case, it’s very obvious.

Give your money and help to Tompkins Conservation. They are “doing” great work, while others are giving awards and celebrating their greatness.  Kris Tompkins deserves our admiration, our love, and our money. Check out their website, and volunteer. It will change your life, and leave the earth a better place.

Thank you Kris, thank you, Doug, and all those who helped!

Do the right thing. Just do it!

Today I want to pay credit to a few real activist heroes out there. These people are often forgotten as they spend their time actually doing things. They don’t have the PR resources to raise money or promote their present needs. These people are the front line soldiers in the fight to save the earth so valuable to all of us.

Esmond Bradley Martin is yet another high profile activist murdered. Mr. Martin, renowned for his work investigating the trade in illegal elephant, was killed at his home in Kenya. Police called it a burglary gone bad, but with political unrest in Kenya at the most violent in years, I wouldn’t put it past illegal traders to take the opportunity to wipe him out.

http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-kenya-conservationist-killed-20180205-story.html

I hope another dedicated individual will take his place, as men and women with courage will always be missed.

On another front I was dismayed to see the Keystone Pipeline activists were sentenced to jail time today. I believe that they all took the actions they did because they were “the right thing to do”. I was not asked to join, and oil pipelines are not my passion, but I was happy to see the support the protesters initially garnered from the public.  Most media coverage and “noise” seemed to stop when the activists were arrested after finally having to make their stands. Now that they have been punished by the justice system of the United States, I was proud to see that they accepted their punishments after they had their say in court. They didn’t agree, but they were courageous enough to defeat the system within the system. None of them whined or ran away. It is refreshing to see young people not afraid to question authority. Not afraid to act. Not afraid of consequences…Way to go, you could teach us old folks a thing or two.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/feb/06/seattle-activist-sentenced-in-4-state-oil-pipeline/

May I suggest that Sea Shepherd spend some of the millions in their legal war-chest to help these folks out. I know Paul Watson claims native spirit… might I suggest he translate some of that native love into cash help. Help those who stood in his stead.

Perhaps Paul could write a poem or use some of his literary talents to keep their plight in the news. We earthlings lost Keystone but the fight will go on. We must meet the enemy on every front and I just hope there will be brave activists that continue to step up. The rest who are too afraid… should stand aside and allow those that do, to do.

I wish I could help more, but as most know, I’m presently fighting a legal battle with the Sea Shepherd Society over my right to use a video archive I donated a year before… How dumb am I?

It’s a stupid fight that cannot help the very animals we have both sworn to protect. I can agree to disagree. I’ll start over, I’m launching a new effort: www.gaianetwork.net .

“A couple of wins for the good guys!”

It was wonderful news hearing that the Pebble mine was defeated in Alaska. This news is long over due news to protect our oceans I might add.

Numerous activists struggled to save the Sockeye. Humans against industry, David against Goliath…  and the Pebble gold mine was finally defeated.  About “f*cking” time!

The mine in question was to put “at risk” half the wild Alaskan sockeye salmon stock… that means “whacked”… Why you might ask?  For pretty trinkets that, although unquestionably a big draw for humans, are not really worth the death of one single species…

It was good to see Native groups standing firm and defending our general human natural heritage. If tribes do not take care of their futures, who will?  Governments? Corporations?

I doubt it . We, concerned humans,  need to do it ourselves.  I would like to think that we humans have finally smartened up after the last 1000+ years of earth’s exploitation.  This time the decision was between wild fish or shiny gold… for once the fish won!

This is very unusual.  In history, most  often gold wins… The Aztec were wiped out for the shiny metal, and many a stream in the western United States has been raped for a chance few nuggets. What are they really worth, these nuggets?  Are they worth the food we eat? The culture and future of our children?

Not to me. Maybe more humans are beginning to see the “real value” of nature… This is a start.

Far across the pacific, one of the world’s great exploiters of wilderness, the Chinese have also chocked up a win for the good guys. In this case they have outlawed the sale of Ivory in Hong Kong, and the Mainland.  This is a huge win for elephants everywhere. Forget the trinkets most eco-groups show on TV,  that’s small change. it’s the chop sticks stupid!

Millions and millions of shiny ivory chop sticks. This could be big!

Now if we can just figure out a way to stop the same culture from buying Taiji dolphin, and using just about every part of every near extinct animal as a “medicine” to keep their dicks hard.  Then we’d have something. I mean is there no end to human absurdity.

Eco groups everywhere should give who ever is responsible for these victories a big atta boy. I am sure credit will be claimed by all with a website, but I don’t care. A WIN, is a win!

New ideas and tactics need to be used across the board if we want to win anything at all in the future.  Let’s build on this, and move forward as one movement.  Remember there are no animal rights, no vegan rights, and no human rights on a dead planet.

Get up off your couch and make a difference.  Hell, even some governments are following suit… the smart ones anyway.

Good for the Pope

I have never been one to put any hope whatsoever into organized religion, yet I do think it is about time that a major religious leader came out for indigenous people, animals, and the wild lands they inhabit.

Let’s face it religions generally support the upper capitalistic class. Power over anything else, and the biggest “anything else” is MONEY. As evident by history, conventional power structures do not go in for wilderness conservation…unless, of course, they intend to exploit it. Take Trump and his cronies as a pretty perfect example. A 180-degree turn from a republican president like Teddy Roosevelt who helped to establish our national park system and national and international nature preserves, now under attack more than ever before.

So it is refreshing to see a leader, religious or not, have the courage, integrity and respect of much of the world, to stand up for what is right for a change. I mean really, it’s God’s earth after all. We pagans think

the earth is god, but that discussion is for another time.

If you look at Vatican history, a real deep felt environmental thrust is not evident. Pope Francis is pushing against the Vatican norm again. Good for him. He is obviously a man who lives his beliefs and has not shown a weakness to take controversial stances even when they appear to be against long-held Vatican precepts, and by long-held, we’re going back over 1000 years. This is not easy and without risk, even for the Pope.

First I hope we all, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, can give the man a big “atta boy” and a huge “pat on the back”. Hats off to Pope Francis!

What he has been saying recently in South America, in an area where mining and logging interests are “capitalism gone mad” is heretical to the establishment. He is taking a real risk, not from locals but from within the institution he heads up, the Vatican. Look at the history of Popes who went against ecclesiastical tyranny, the end result was always overwhelmingly: mysterious deaths, poison, intrigue, you name it. Pope Francis wouldn’t be the first Pope iced for the sake of the power elite…I’m just saying. No matter why, everyone should get behind this guy and guys like him.

Second I am happy to have the millions of Catholics on the “right side” of a really important issue: survival of the earth as we know it.

This could make the difference to our very survival. If we can get the Jews, Muslims, and Hindus and everyone else onboard we actually might win this “ecology” thing. I mean, I know things like abortion and birth control are important issues to some, but they are trivial subjects if we continue to destroy the very earth that sustains us. There is no life at all on a dead planet.

So I am happy to welcome Catholics to the fold, and will hold out hope that other religious leaders follow suit. We’re counting on you!

Maybe next, Francis will ordain women, whack the child molesters, and get the millions of Catholics around the world to actually make a difference. The wheels for these things are already in motion. The “Theology of Activism” can come back stronger then ever for an issue that really matters: our survival as a species.

Next let’s shake hands with the Muslims and show the kids (who are the future), that humans as a species are indeed “intelligent life”. I am afraid if aliens come to earth looking for intelligent life today, they would choose none of us.

So let’s support Pope Francis while he still serves, and has the courage to be right on this issue… the most important issue as far as I am concerned.  His lifelong, compassionate service to his faith, beliefs and those in need gives credibility to his new direction and gives him the right to speak no matter what the past establishment allows. God bless him!

Now the real question is: Do you think the Vatican will launch a cease & desist lawsuit against him? I mean how disloyal of him to question decrees and directions from the past that he is showing us all need major updating (even if it’s for the betterment of humanity). I’m joking of course, but one never knows. Let us pray, for real now.

We need new thought and tactics everywhere and in every aspect of life. Look around: no matter how cool our actions have been to date, no matter how clever we think we are, we are losing because the movement is being fractured by an old power structure that is getting in the way of the job at hand… the entire reason we’re here and talking about this in the first place. We need help from everyone. It is time to put our egos away and do what is right.

Hear, hear, for Pope Francis!

Hear, hear, for planet Earth!

Let us continue to work to unite so we can all succeed an live in harmony with each other and with nature. What a wonderful thought! Now, let us make it a reality.

Rights for Activists? Remember them?

Now that the film rights of : CONFESSIONS II: ” we have met the enemy… ” are finally being discussed legally behind closed doors… It would be a good time, as activists, to be asking ourselves the “question” about rights in general. This doesn’t just effect me, it effects us all. To begin, I would like to thank everyone for all of their Facebook comments, good and bad, pretty and ugly.

This is the point of our working together, this is the point of the environmental movement, heck, this is the point of democracy! Whatever your thoughts are, the important thing is getting the conversation going and moving it along so we can continue “fight the good fight.” This movement can only thrive when we all participate, question authority wherever it demands attention, and oppose censorship everywhere.

In the beginning we certainly stretched the truth a bit, but that was how TV worked in those days, and the reality was, we just gave the story spin in the modern day vernacular in order to get as much media attention and the attention of the public as possible. We were also an underfunded small group doing the work of what could have been a huge organization. In those days, “the others” were over-funded and big…so one has to make their way. After all, all was fair in love and war.

Someone “online” did say that I started “it”…. Started what? I have spent 35+ years of my life paying for my own time, and purchasing the material to cover a large number of SSCS campaigns. This is the truth. These are facts. This is not “fake news”! This was before cell phones, laptops, and smartphones, and TV network crews were few and far between. So yes, we all did what we could, we all did the thing or things that we were good at to help the movement grow, and I filmed our own news… all true. Maybe I did start it? But “started it” needs to be defined. What exactly did I start, other than making sure footage of vital environmental issues across the entire globe was seen by and motivated audiences who make up the entire globe. If this is the claim, I guess I am guilty as charged, but intelligent humans do evolve.

Back in the day, young activists did many very brave things under extremely harsh conditions. I know, I was there. With the help of the legendary George Schlatter and others, we made our issues appear on the “real news” programs of the day. This way they became the public’s issues. It was the film and video of these early actions, and the people who risked it all; that won the day and started a movement.

I filmed many of those early moving pictures and gave the images, rights and all to anyone who asked. I felt that the images forming the “new” eco movement belonged to all. Those I didn’t own personally, Paul Watson borrowed and we distributed anyhow. I’m just saying…

In the early 1980s Paul Watson was battling Greenpeace over the very BRANDING issue we are discussing 40 years later. 40 years later and are we back where we started? This was not my idea! They hated each other (Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd) and Paul took every chance he could to slam his old buddies in the press. Greenpeace pretty much ignored Watson and dismissed his claims. I tried to broker a peace once…it went bust the first week after the deal was made. You see, back then, just like now, it was all about money, which is something that needs to change. Money keeps organizations going but too much of it and too many chefs in the kitchen seem to always spoil the brew. I never tried again but I have always liked the Greenpeace activists I met on campaigns. We always worked together, even though our bosses frowned on such collaboration; ridiculous then, ridiculous now.

Collaboration by likeminded people to reach the same goal is one of the greatest gifts you can get. I always thought that if Paul Watson spent as much time fighting the bad guys, as he did hating Greenpeace, and visa-versa we’d have been a lot better off. By “we” I mean the oceans. The whales, the dolphins, and every other creature in harm’s way, remember them? And hey, if the whales and dolphins and the oceans die off…we are next.

This is not a rant and this is not meant to be funny. I’m talking about the lives of all of Mother Nature’s creatures on this planet. To win anything, we should all be working together, even if we disagree.

It is a fight for the oceans, not Brand loyalty. The public is losing faith in their leaders and institutions in general directly because of this. We were never meant to be bureaucratic, we were never meant to value money and branding over the lives of whales, dolphins, humans and so many amazing campaigns to do right here on planet earth. As far as I can see, this is all happening for good reason; it is time for all real activists to get back on the frontlines to protect our rights. Leaders absolutely have to quit hiding behind fancy propaganda videos, e-commerce websites, and fancy press releases. Most corporations never explore the real issues, they just show how “cool” this or that group is. Then they start marketing goods.  When you risk it all…

Who owns those images? Can you imagine your picture selling tequila? Coca-Cola? Or god-forbid, Kobe beef? I CAN imagine it. The prospect is not a good one. Talk about key-messaging going horribly wrong. Environmental organizations were never meant to be CORPORATIONS, and if things continue in such a way, the faithful followers will drop off and start their own groups, which is a wonderful thing. At the same time, we MUST COME TOGETHER and utilize our individual gifts to continue to help the planet and her creatures heal and not just for us, but for every generation to come.

I hope others join me in in this age of “media” and DEMAND that eco IMAGERY should belong to the earth, not greedy corporations and personality sects. If I have my way, events will remain a part of human history not some asset on a corporate ledger sheet to be bought and sold at whim. It’s time to tackle the issues and put an end to these eco-corporation fights so everyone can get back to doing what they are supposed to be doing; helping our planet and her creatures heal, not utilizing efforts to making working together difficult and allowing our planet to remain victim to major environmental crimes that we have spent 40 years eradicating. It’s like having termites in your home; if you don’t stop the spread, you won’t have a home left to live in. Whatever we do now is what we’ll be remembered for and we are at the tipping point, so the time is now.

A Dinosaur’s view

Rights for ACTIVISTS???, remember them!

Now that the film rights of : CONFESSIONS II: ” we have met the enemy… ” are finally being discussed legally behind closed doors… It would be a good time, as activists, to be asking ourselves the “question” about rights in general. This doesn’t just effect me, it effects us all. To begin, I would like to thank everyone for all of their Facebook comments, good and bad, pretty and ugly. This is the point of working together, this is the point of the environmental movement, heck, this is the point of democracy! Whatever your thoughts are, the important thing is getting the conversation going and moving it along so we can continue “fight the good fight.” This movement can only thrive when we all participate, question authority wherever it demands attention, and oppose censorship everywhere. In the beginning we certainly stretched the truth a bit, but that was how TV worked in those days, and the reality was, we just gave the story spin in the modern day vernacular in order to get as much media attention and the attention of the public as possible. We were also an underfunded small group doing the work of what could have been a huge organization. In those days, “the others” were over-funded and big…so one has to make their way. After all, all was fair in love and war. Someone “online” did say that I started “it”…. Started what? I have spent 35+ years of my life paying for my own time, and purchasing the material to cover a large number of SSCS campaigns. This is the truth. These are facts. This is not “fake news”! This was before cell phones, laptops, and smartphones, and TV network crews were few and far between. So yes, we all did what we could, we all did the thing or things that we were good at to help the movement grow, and I filmed our own news… all true. Maybe I did start it? But “started it” needs be defined. What exactly did I start, other than making sure footage of vital environmental issues across the entire globe was seen by and motivated audiences who make up the entire globe. If this is the claim, I guess I am guilty as charged, but intelligent humans do evolve. One of my latest: ( http://www.enemyfilm.tv ) Back in the day, young activists did many very brave things under extremely harsh conditions. I know, I was there. With the help of the legendary George Schlatter and others, we made our issues appear on the “real news” programs of the day. This way they became the public’s issues. It was the film and video of these early actions, and the people who risked it all; that won the day and started a movement. I filmed many of those early moving pictures and gave the images, rights and all to anyone who asked. I felt that the images forming the “new” eco movement belonged to all. Those I didn’t own personally, Paul Watson borrowed and we distributed anyhow. Just saying… In the early 1980s Paul Watson was battling Greenpeace over the very BRANDING issue we are discussing 40 years later. 40 years later and we are back where we started? This was not my idea! They hated each other (Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd) and Paul took every chance he could to slam his old buddies in the press. Greenpeace pretty much ignored Watson and dismissed his claims. I tried to broker a peace once…it went bust the first week after the deal was made. You see, back then, just like now, it was all about money, which is something that needs to change. Money keeps organizations going but too much of it and too many chefs in the kitchen seem to always spoil the brew. I never tried again but I have always liked the Greenpeace activists I met on campaigns. We always worked together, even though our bosses frowned on such collaboration; ridiculous then, ridiculous now. Collaboration by likeminded people to reach the same goal is one of the greatest gifts you can get. I always thought that if Paul Watson spent as much time fighting the bad guys, as he did hating Greenpeace, and visa-versa we’d have been a lot better off. By “we” I mean the oceans. The whales, the dolphins, and every other creature in harm’s way, remember them? And hey, if the whales and dolphins and the oceans die off…we are next, immediately next. This is not a rant and this is not meant to be funny. I’m talking about the lives of all of Mother Nature’s creatures on this planet. To win anything, we should all be working together, even if we disagree. It is a fight for the oceans, not Brand loyalty. The public is losing faith in their leaders and institutions in general directly because of this. We were never meant to be bureaucratic, we were never meant to value money and branding over the lives of whales, dolphins, humans and so many amazing campaigns to do right here on planet earth. As far as I can see, this is all happening for good reason; it is time for all real activists to get back on the frontlines to protect our rights. Leaders absolutely have to quit hiding behind fancy propaganda videos, e-commerce websites, and fancy press releases. Most corporations never explore the real issues, they just show how “cool” this or that group is. Then they start marketing goods. When you risk it all… who owns those images? Can you imagine your picture selling tequila? Coca-Cola? Or god-forbid, Kobe beef? I CAN imagine it. The prospect is not a good one. Talk about key-messaging going horribly wrong. Environmental organizations were never meant to be CORPORATIONS, and if things continue in such a way, the faithful followers will drop off and start their own groups, which is a wonderful thing. At the same time, we MUST COME TOGETHER and utilize our individual gifts to continue to help the planet and her creatures heal and not just for us, but for every generation to come. I hope others join me in in this age of “media” and DEMAND that eco IMAGERY should belong to the earth, not greedy corporations and personality sects. If I have my way, events will remain a part of human history not some asset on a corporate ledger sheet to be bought and sold at whim. It’s time to tackle the issues and put an end to these eco-corporation fights so everyone can get back to doing what they are supposed to be doing; helping our planet and her creatures heal, not utilizing efforts to making working together difficult and allowing our planet to remain victim to major environmental crimes that we have spent 40 years eradicating. It’s like having termites in your home; if you don’t stop the spread, you won’t have a home left to live in. Whatever we do now is what we’ll be remembered for and we are at the tipping point, so the time is now.

Peter&HeloFaeroe